Apple Music and Spotify are among the biggest music streaming services worldwide, but it looks like the latter is far ahead of Apple’s music streaming service in terms of paid subscribers.
During its earnings call for the fourth quarter of 2019, music streaming giant Spotify announced that it has over 124 million subscribers who pay for its premium tier service. That’s over twice of Apple Music’s 60 million-odd subscribers, at least going by its previously reported numbers.
Spotify seems to have a huge lead over Apple Music when you look at the number of premium subscribers. However, look closely, and you’ll find some loopholes. According to Reuters, some of Spotify’s premium tier subscribers are paying either nothing at all or a discounted rate. The company ran a number of promotions during the holiday quarter, including “3 months on us” intro offer for new users and a win-back offer for returning customers.
Even if you remove a chunk of those subscribers, Spotify seems to have an upper hand over Apple Music. The Swedish firm slid back into the red, though, and reported a loss of around $230 million. That’s due to a number of investments the company made to get a lead in the podcast market, which is exploding, to say the least. The company expects to report losses for the rest of 2020, which it is calling an “investment year.”
Spotify mentioned during its earnings call that podcast listening has increased 200 percent year-over-year and that it has over 700,000 podcasts on its platform. Apparently, over 16 percent of new users joining the music streaming service listen to podcasts. It purchased The Ringer last quarter for its collection of 30 podcast titles. It also acquired Anchor, Gimlet, and Parcast podcasting platforms in the past. The company serves ads to users who listen to podcasts for free.
The company thinks that podcasts are essential in attracting more paying subscribers. Spotify expects to have 0ver 300 million active users and around 150 million premium subscribers by the end of this year. In comparison, Apple Music has a solid collection of podcasts, too, but it isn’t monetizing them yet. The iPhone maker has expressed interest in funding some exclusive podcasts.[Source: Spotify, Via: Reuters]